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Thermo-mechanical Behavior of Pressure Tube of Indian PHWR at 20 bar Pressure

Authors: Gopal Nandan, P. K. Sahooa, Ravi Kumara, B Chatterjeeb, D. Mukhopadhyayb, H. G. Leleb


In a nuclear reactor Loss of Coolant accident (LOCA) considers wide range of postulated damage or rupture of pipe in the heat transport piping system. In the case of LOCA with/without failure of emergency core cooling system in a Pressurised Heavy water Reactor, the Pressure Tube (PT) temperature could rise significantly due to fuel heat up and gross mismatch of the heat generation and heat removal in the affected channel. The extent and nature of deformation is important from reactor safety point of view. Experimental set-ups have been designed and fabricated to simulate ballooning (radial deformation) of PT for 220 MWe IPHWRs. Experiments have been conducted by covering the CT by ceramic fibers and then by submerging CT in water of voided PTs. In both the experiments, it is observed that ballooning initiates at a temperature around 665´┐¢C and complete contact between PT and Caldaria Tube (CT) occurs at around 700´┐¢C approximately. The strain rate is found to be 0.116% per second. The structural integrity of PT is retained (no breach) for all the experiments. The PT heatup is found to be arrested after the contact between PT and CT, thus establishing moderator acting as an efficient heat sink for IPHWRs.

Keywords: Reactor Safety, boiling heat transfer, pressure tube, calandria tube, Thermo-mechanicaldeformation

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